18 May 2018

On the opening day of play they caused major upsets, on the second day of action, Thursday 17th May, at the qualification tournament for the 2018 ITTF Challenge Thailand Open, they continued their good form to remain unbeaten and thus topped their respective groups.

China’s Yang Sheng and Xu Ruifeng, alongside Hong Kong’s Su Zhi, the host nation’s Tananan Tantakool and Chinese Taipei’s Feng Yi-Hsin, duly booked main draw places.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager

Yang Sheng beat Thailand’s Supakron Pankhaoyoy (11-5, 12-10, 11-7, 11-2), Su Zhi accounted for China’s Qiao Junfeng (8-11, 11-5, 11-9, 11-7, 11-8); likewise, Tananan Tantakool overcame Paris Zonios of Greece (11-9, 11-4, 11-13, 13-11, 11-9), Feng Yi-Hsin defeated Iran’s Amin Miralmasi (12-10, 11-7, 11-7, 11-7).

“I’m very happy to get into the main draw stage. Today I had good service returns and I made the right decisions at the right time during my matches.” Tananan Tantakool

Impressive from 18 year old Tananan Tantakool; it was the same from a player of the same age. Frenchmen Bastien Rembert, unbeaten the previous day, concluded his group phase matches with success against Korea’s Chae Byeonguk (11-13, 3-11, 11-5, 13-11, 11-9, 8-11, 11-7).

“I had a tough start because his defence was so effective. I hit many balls into the net. After I was able to adjust and make more spin, so I was able to turn the game around. I’m feeling quite upbeat. It’s been a great start to this tournament.” Bastien Rembert

Top place for two teenagers against the odds; it was the same for one more. Nine days after his 16th birthday, Singapore’s Pang Yew En Koen, hitherto unbeaten, accounted for Korea’s Hwang Min the secure an unexpected first place (11-7, 11-8, 9-11, 10-12, 11-8, 11-6).

“At first I was really controlling the game but in the middle of game three, he started changing his receives which created some problems for me. Finally in games five and six I was able to adjust to his receives and win. My opponent also had a very strong attack so I tried to stay aggressive and make the first attack. I think this helped me to win the match.” Pang Yew En Koen

Young players in form, it was the same for Japan’s Hibiki Tazoe and India’s Sushmit Sriram; likewise both topped their groups contrary to predictions.

Play in the main draw commences on Friday 18th May.

Challenge Series 2018 Thailand Open Pang Yew En Koen Bastien Rembert Su Zhi Tananan Tantakool

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